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Eventide by Kent Haruf

Eventide (edition 2005)

by Kent Haruf

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1,030None8,200 (4.03)77
Authors:Kent Haruf
Info:Vintage (2005), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 299 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned, Read in 2012

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Eventide by Kent Haruf



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3.5 stars

This is a continuation of Plainsong, set in a small town in Colorado. One storyline stood out for me in Plainsong, and it was continued in Eventide. Victoria, the pregnant girl taken in by brothers Raymond and Harold, has now had her little girl and she's two years old. Victoria has decided it's time for her to go away to school. In addition to this storyline, there are a couple of others in Eventide.

I listened to the audio, and it was fine, but not enough for my mind not to wander a few times. Unfortunately, it was tricky to figure out which storyline was being followed if my mind wandered during the transition. I still liked it, but I suspect I would have liked it much more if I'd read it in print. It took me a while to figure out the other storylines and who was who in them because of my loss of focus. I was always able to come back to Raymond and Harold, though – I'm sure that's because I liked their story so much in the first book, as well. Despite my wandering mind, I still enjoyed it and will read the third book set in Holt. ( )
  LibraryCin | Nov 27, 2013 |
This sequel to Plainsong is every bit a good as the first. I can't seem to get enough of Kent Haruf and his picture perfect portrayal of the Midwest. I'm a coastal person, but I have come to appreciate the way of life of the inhabitants of Holt Colorado and its environs. Eventide brings back the wonderful McPheron brothers, their ward Victoria and her daughter, we meet the hapless Wallace family in their dilapidated trailer, we meet Rose the social worker, and we see the hard-working, plain, loving, and giving way of life of the plains ranchers and small town merchants. It's another perfect piece of writing.

I simply can't get enough of Haruf's plain and simple scene setting and lyrical prose. There is not a wasted word, nor a wasted scene. His characters are real, the story is true to life, and although parts can be called extremely sad, they are simply statements of life as it is. The hope and grace he portrays in his characters keeps the story from being maudlin, and leaves the reader looking for more. If you haven't discovered this superb writer, run to your bookstore or library. You won't regret it. ( )
1 vote tututhefirst | Aug 29, 2013 |
The sequal to Haruf's beautiful book Plainsong. Usually sequals aren't as good as the original but this is one of the few exception. Haruf's writing is so lyrical that it pulls the emotions from you.
( )
  icedream | May 16, 2013 |
What this book imparts is a quintessential view of American agrarian working class people. It is set in Colorado and speaks of small town life, I would guess in the 1970s or 80s. (One family has a microwave.) It is not plot oriented, so if you want lots to happen, look elsewhere. The picture it draws is astoundingly perceptive. The characters have very ordinary lives, but it is the perfection with which they are drawn that is so fantastic.

I cannot think of another book that delivers such astoundingly perfect dialogs. The sentences are short. What these characters say to each other is what ordinary people DO say to each other. The sentences are often composed of one or two words, or just a phrase. The dialogs are varied – between two elderly brothers, between the husband and wife of a family on welfare, a social worker and those she is trying to help, between children, between friends and enemies, the rants of a child abuser. Absolutely all of these dialogs are pitch-perfect. Either Kent Haruf, the author, has a fantastic memory for conversations he has heard or he has used a tape recorder.

The narration by George Hearn, could simply not be better. He delivers the dialogs with perfect pacing. His pauses speak volumes.

This book is the second of a trilogy. The first one is "Plainsong". I read that years and years ago and gave it too four stars. "Benediction" follows “Eventide”, but I have not chosen to pick that up immediately. I want to explain why because I believe it says something about what you can expect from this book. I need a break; I can take only so much. While there is subdued humor in the lines, the book essentially shows the struggle of daily life for many, many ordinary people. Their lives do have moments of happiness. The nice things are rather mundane, but still very beautiful….but maybe you have to look hard to see them. Also, the audiobook format of “Benediction” has a different narrator, and I absolutely cannot imagine listening to a similarly told story with a less competent narrator. The three books are stand-alones; they do not have to be read together, so I will wait! This was so special I don’t want to lessen my appreciation of it with another.

Have I explained properly so you know what this book offers you? Great writing about ordinary people. Superb dialogs. You will come to love some of the characters. For me it was Raymond.

Completed May 5, 2013 ( )
1 vote chrissie3 | May 4, 2013 |
More of Holt, Colorado.

This is as well written as Plainsong, albeit sadder and, in some sense, more suspended in terms of story resolution. You'll find the return of several familiar characters as well as be introduced to several new ones, some of whom are as appealing as the old, while some just make your blood boil.

There is that same wonderful quality of feeling like you're present in the lives of these people. It continues to amaze me how well Haruf can create an image of a person in the reader's mind with even the briefest of scenes. When reading the first book, the word that kept coming to mind was resonant; with this one, it is compassionate.

And, yes, I'm aware that saying albeit might make those who've read the book smile. ( )
  TadAD | Apr 27, 2013 |
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Abide with me: fast falls the eventide; The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide. When other helpers fail, and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. - Henry R. Lyte
For Cathy and in memory of my nephew Mark Kelley Haruf
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They came up from the horse barn in the slanted light of early morning.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375725768, Paperback)

Kent Haruf, author of Plainsong, one of the most beloved novels in recent years, has wisely continued the franchise in Eventide, another foray into the prairie town of Holt, Colorado. We meet some of the same people--the McPheron brothers, Tom Guthrie and Maggie Jones, Victoria and her daughter Katie, and are introduced to new ones. Once again, the quirky bachelors Harold and Raymond McPheron, short on conversation and long on heart, form the sweet center of the book. The constants here are the brothers, the landscape--by turns hostile, demanding and renewing--and a few of the locals, whom we meet in varying degrees of their travails and redemption.

Victoria, the young pregnant woman the brothers took in in Plainsong, has gone off to college at Fort Collins, leaving the brothers standing at the kitchen counter, "drinking coffee and talking about how Victoria Roubideaux was doing a hundred and twenty-five miles away from home ... while they themselves were living as usual in the country in Holt County ... with so much less to account for now that she was gone, and a wind rising up and starting to whine outside the house." Much as Seinfeld was called the TV show about nothing, Haruf's books are so low-key and straightforward that a careless reader might miss the fact that they are about everything that life has to offer: love, sorrow, malice, understanding, and the connections that make and keep us human, to name a few.

DJ is an 11-year-old living alone with his grandfather, when he befriends two young girls whose father left for Alaska and decided not to return. Their mother is mired in grief and the three children, abandoned by the adults in their lives, find refuge in an old shed they make habitable. "So for a while the two sisters and the boy lay on the floor under the blankets, reading books in the dim candlelight, with the sun falling down outside in the alley, the three of them talking a little softly, drinking coffee from a thermos, and what was happening in the houses they’d come from, seemed, for that short time, of little importance." One of Haruf's particular gifts is in showing us people who give and take solace wherever it may be found.

An unfortunate disabled couple, parents of two young children, are trying to make their way in a world they cannot fathom. They are assisted by Rose Tyler, their caseworker, who is a friend of Maggie Jones. aggie, who drew Tom Guthrie out of his depression in Plainsong, is once again a catalyst for change when she introduces Rose to Raymond. There is no doubt more to come, as life in Holt, Colorado, continues to evolve and Kent Haruf keeps us informed. --Valerie Ryan

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:51 -0400)

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A novel of small-town life in the high plains region around Holt, Colorado, follows the challenges, emotional upheaval, tragedies, and intertwined destinies of the local inhabitants as they cope with the changes they encounter.

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